ATLANTA -- The Detroit Pistons came to Atlanta looking to make up ground in the Eastern Conference playoff race against an Atlanta team that was sinking fast. The Hawks, currently fourth in the East, had lost seven of their past 10 games. Atlanta coach Mike Woodson and one of his best players, Josh Smith, were at odds.
None of that mattered Saturday as the Hawks held off the Pistons 87-83 to sweep the season series over Detroit for the first time since the 1993-1994 season.
"I tip my hat to the guys in our locker room," said Woodson, a former Pistons assistant coach. "The last few days have been tough, but we bounced back."
Pistons coach Michael Curry was disappointed result, but he didn't have a problem with his team's effort.
"I thought we did an excellent job attacking all night," said Curry, whose team is three games behind the Hawks in the East. "Overall, I was pleased with our overall defense for the game."
Detroit shot 63.1 percent on 12-for-19 shooting in the first quarter, but the Hawks held the Pistons to just 33.3 percent on 20-of-60 shooting through the final three quarters.
Richard Hamilton, who has been Detroit's best player during the team's recent four-game winning streak that ended Saturday, was burdened by foul trouble most of the night. But he single-handedly brought the Pistons back in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 78-70, Hamilton nailed a 17-footer, and followed that up with back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game at 78.
"We had them right where we wanted," said Hamilton, who led all scorers with 20 points. "I thought we had them, right then and there."
Instead, the Hawks reeled off back-to-back dunks in transition to take an 82-78 lead, and the Pistons trailed for the rest of the game.
Pistons guard Rodney Stuckey had a solid game with 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists.